Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

May 14, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Mother’s Day Special: Pepper and The Very Urgent Matter

It was not an unusual morning. I was up early, drinking tea, browsing the Facebook feed, while Pepper kept an eye on things in the yard from her spot in the sunroom. Then – an explosion of barking! (From Pep.) She ran to the door, lunging into it, letting me know in her subtle way that a very urgent matter required her attention. A squirrel, …

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April 23, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and Coco

Parting was such sweet sorrow the afternoon my friend Ann and I picked up Pepper and Coco from puppy daycare at the same time. It’s hard to say who caused more trouble (well, honestly, it’s not that hard. You can imagine.)           We eventually got the pups disentangled and into our respective vehicles. “How was your day?” I asked Pep. “How …

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March 26, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Future

“What do you do when one version of the future just stands up and walks away?” I asked Pepper as we checked on the baby oak and maple trees I planted late last fall. The maples have been showing the tiniest little red leaves – signs of life! – while the oaks keep any life within them hidden, still. “Like when the baby rabbit gets …

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March 20, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The First Day of Spring

“Spring is a straggly season,” I observed, as Pep and I poked around the yard. She was the one doing the actual poking – under every bush – looking for rabbit nests (while I kept a watchful eye). “The grass is patchy. The daffodils are spent. Weeds thrive, mushrooms persist, the sweet little violets are everywhere. The pin oak clings to its dead leaves while the cherry’s about …

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March 12, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Pot of Chili

We’d finished supper and Pepper was at my heels “helping” with cleanup. She licked the mostly empty bowls that I put on the kitchen floor and also enthusiastically disposed of the remaining shredded cheese and fritos. When I turned my back, she worked on the counter. But the pot of gold? The pot of chili, sitting on the stove. “Why don’t I take care of that,” …

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February 26, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night. Pepper pawed at the back door, jumping up on her hind legs to scratch at the panes of glass she could reach – anxious to get out. “Come!” She called to me. “Come!” I put my book down. “Seriously, Pepper?” I replied. “That is actually a one-way word. Me to you. We’ve discussed this! And you are awfully …

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February 12, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Plague

Nashville’s robins – thousands of them, locals and visitors – made quite a racket over the last few weeks. They spattered my car every day. They seemed agitated, dawn to dusk – or at least they made me feel agitated. I have never considered myself a robin hater, but my feelings were not as warm and friendly as the weather. “They’re as bad as the cicadas …

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February 11, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Captain Jack Sparrow Keeps An Open Mind (And Offers His Thoughts On Squirrels and Smiles)

You’ll find Kevin Crumbo and Captain Jack Sparrow out at the park before daybreak, sometimes as early as 4 a.m. Conversations take place in the deep, dark quiet of the woods. Today, Kevin is kind enough to share a recent exchange… From Kevin: “Surprised you went to a ballet tonight,” exclaimed Captain Jack Sparrow, “no one will mistake you for a dance super fan, so …

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February 3, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Bamboo Forest

There’s a place just beyond where the Grickle-grass grows, in a far back corner of the yard: the Bamboo Forest. Many long years ago, when people long since dead were alive, grandmother planted bamboo because she thought it was pretty. It grew, and grew, and grew. Now it is a the deep, dark Bamboo Forest where no one goes. “I heard something there,” Pepper whispered to me …

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January 25, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Very Unwise Daffodils

Finally, a ray of sunshine! Pepper and I took advantage. She bounded around the yard securing the border and I did my usual slow circuit. To my dismay, I found the daffodils already 3 and 4 inches high, seemingly overnight. Pep found me kneeling beside them. “What’s up?” she asked. “The daffodils!” I cried, anguished. “Too early! They are going to be ruined. They are …

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